Construction firm to face court over alleged underpayments

A former operator of a civil construction business based in Wyong, NSW is set to face the Federal Circuit Court over the alleged underpayment of a former employee.

According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, MDP Labour Pty Ltd, which provided pipe-laying and earthmoving services, denied the employee his full entitlement of public holiday pay and annual leave.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to MDP Labour in May 2020 but the company has failed to comply with the notice that had required it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.

“Under the Fair Work Act, Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors if they form a belief that an employer has breached workplace laws,” Parker said. “Where employers do not comply with our requests, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order the business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”

The FWO is seeking a penalty against MDP Labour Pty Ltd of up to $31,500. The regulator is also seeking a court order for the company to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying any underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

The matter will be heard at a directions hearing in the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney on 2 February 2021.

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